establishing trust in the component-based business

1-day management briefing

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The component-based business is a loosely coupled network of independent business components providing services to one another, yet proving a coherent set of services to its customers.

The trend towards component-based business has been greatly accelerated by technology, especially Internet and E-Business, but it is much more broadly applicable.

Component-based business undermines (or exposes existing weaknesses) in established mechanisms of trust, and demands new forms of trust and security.  There have always been confidence tricks and breaches of trust, but electronic commerce alters the cost equation, making fraud cheaper and easier.

In this seminar, we shall explore a range of successes and failures, and provide practical guidance for establishing effective trust.

We are currently negotiating dates and locations for briefings in September/October. In-house presentations and full training workshops are also available. Please contact us.


In a complex system of relationships, we try to distinguish between trustworthy and untrustworthy agents and artefacts. We can then try to assess the risks of dealing with the ones we don't trust, and secure ourselves against rogue behaviour. When we are dealing in familiar domains, we often take trust for granted - until something appears to shake our trust. In new domains, however, we may be much less certain whom or what we can trust.

But there are some big problems with conventional thinking about trust. Simple patterns of trust are sometimes misleading. The signs of trust can usually be faked. Security mechanisms can always be broken if the stakes are high enough.

Trust and security can never be purely technical matters. They depend crucially on process and people.

Trust and mistrust propagate themselves around a system. Trust is an emergent property of a system of relationships.  This workshop introduces a sophisticated approach to solving problems of trust, based on a systems approach.

Four Agendas

There are many different agendas in the world of trust and security.
Presenting  yourself as trustworthy
Recognizing others as trustworthy
Protecting yourself from untrustworthy behaviour
Promoting trustworthy behaviour
Typical goals
  • Marketing products and services
  • Managing brand and reputation
Typical concerns
  • Suspicion by potential customers reduces sales, increases costs, and makes negotiations protracted and painful.
Typical goals
  • Procurement of products and services from unknown companies.
  • Reduced transaction costs.
Typical concerns
  • Identity and impersonation
  • Repudiation
Typical goals
  • Ability to use untested products and services without excessive risk
Typical concerns
  • Risk management
  • Active defence / deterrence
Typical goals
  • Setting and enforcing standards of good behaviour.
Typical concerns
  • Reasonable expectations.
  • Inventiveness of rogues.
  • Motivating and reinforcing good behaviour.
  • Maintaining the support of the community.
Intended audience
What you will learn
This seminar is aimed at business and IT managers, business analysts and architects, e-business planners, service providers and venture capitalists, interested in exploiting the opportunities for the component-based business.
It is also relevant for industry regulators, interested in improving trust and protection across dynamic and complex markets.
You will learn how to identify and assess the requirements for integrity and trust across distributed business networks.
You will learn how to recognize and apply patterns and mechanisms of trust and security.
The workshop style is highly interactive to provide an opportunity to discuss how it will specifically affect your organization or market.


Motivation & Background Why trust matters - the transaction costs and business risks of suspicion and constant defensiveness.
Trusting Components Building Products and Services that Deservedly Win Trust

Selecting Trustworthy Products and Services

Understanding how the Signs of Trust can be Faked - and how the Fakes may be Detected.

Trusting Relationships Building Trusting Partnerships and Communities

Generating and Maintaining Trust

  • Mutual Respect
  • Growing Commitment
  • Knowledge
  • Shared Values
Trusting Systems and Networks Analysing complex and dynamic systems for healthy signs of the propagation of trust and trusting behaviour.

Regulating complex and dynamic systems.

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This page last updated on May 29th, 2001
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